Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Some Items That Comfort Instead of Aggravate My Chronic Pain

The whole world feels harsh when you live with chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. Every light, every sound, every smell, every task, every surface, every conversation, every thought...everything can be a trigger and/or exacerbating factor. As hard as I work to surround myself with softness - lots of pillows, comfy furniture, soft blankets and the like - it all still feels harsh. It might sound crazy to the healthy folks out there, but "soft" items are not all created equal. More surprisingly, I've learned that price doesn't necessarily indicate the quality and level of luxury of such items.

Hubby and I have two sets of sheets for our bed. One sheet set we got on sale at Ikea for $20 (regular price was $30 or $35). The other set is from Kohls and was priced at $180 (it was a gift from my MIL - even if it was 50% off I would never spend that kind of money on sheets). The Ikea set has a lower thread count and predates the Kohls set by about 2 years BUT these cheap sheets are softer, feels much better on the skin and have held up better than the more expensive ones. The Kohls sheets are stiff, even after a couple years of regular use, and have been pilling. 

Thread count is one of those tricks companies use to justify charging more for their products. And while thread count can have an impact on the softness and durability of sheets, the more important factor is the quality of the cotton being used. The bummer is that I don't yet know how to determine the quality of cotton from the packaging provided but you can bet as soon as Ikea opens a store in our area (only 2 more years :) I'll be getting another set from them. 

Thomas O'Brien Towels from Target
More recently I found unexpectedly soft and luxurious towels. In the past I've splurged on the good towels because I really do want quality that will stay nice for a long time. Traditional towel wisdom says that Royal Velvet and Ralph Lauren make great towels and they do compared to some. But I've never felt anything as wonderful as the towels we got recently on clearance at Target ($6 for the bath towels, regular price was only $10). They are Thomas O'Brien Vintage Collection but really they are little slices of heaven. I just want to get lost in their thick, soft cottony splendor. They are not excessively shedding the way most new towels do, in fact, they don't produce any more dryer lint than the towels I've had for years. No joke, I've never experienced towels like this before - didn't even know what I was missing. If only everything were made from the same material my world wouldn't feel nearly as harsh as it does now.

These are small things in the grand scheme of life but for someone like me, who is constantly bombarded by pain from everyday items, finding some products that comfort instead of aggravate my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia is truly priceless.

Now if only I could find the perfect pillows and sofa. 

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